- Sales rise sharply in 2010 and return to pre-crisis level
- Available supply cannot fully meet customer demand, particularly for butanediol and derivatives as well as for numerous amines and polyalcohols
- Earnings far above 2009 level owing to higher volumes, improved margins and good capacity utilization rates
- Outlook 2011: slight sales growth with continued strong demand; earnings to match 2010 level despite additional costs arising from expansion and modernization of production plants
Intermediates – Sales by region
(location of customer)
In the Intermediates division, our sales to third parties in 2010 were €2,529 million. Compared with the difficult year in 2009, sales rose by 35% (volumes 24%, prices 7%, currencies 4%), representing a return to the level reached before the economic crisis.
The good performance in this division was mainly attributable to the strong recovery in key customer industries worldwide, such as the plastics, coatings and textiles industries. The available supply could not fully meet the demand of our customers in 2010. This mainly affected our product line butanediol and derivatives, but also applied to numerous amines and polyalcohols. While raw materials prices remained generally stable, we were able to increase our sales prices.
Income from operations was far above the previous year’s level thanks to higher sales volumes, improved margins in several product lines and good capacity utilization in our plants.
With the start-up of a methylamines production plant at our Verbund site in Geismar, Louisiana, in 2011, we are strengthening our leading position as a global supplier of standard and specialty amines.
We expect demand in 2011 to build on the level seen in the previous year. We aim for a slight increase in sales compared with 2010. Despite the negative impact of additional costs arising from the modernization and expansion of our production plants, we aim to match the very good earnings level of 2010.